Theory of the Broken Window

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There have been many contributors when it came to tackling anti-social behaviour and preventing crime however, the most influential contributors are Wilson and Kelling. They came up with the theory of broken window which will be further explain in this essay. This essay will outline the broken window theory, as well as explain what is meant by broken window. Finally it will give examples that exemplify the broken window theory. (Maguire, Morgan and Reiner, 2012)
Wilson and Kelling argued that if behaviour such as graffiti, rowdy behaviour, drunkenness and vandalism is un-tackled this can turn stable neighbourhoods into broken down neighbourhoods with fears of crime. They further argued that behaviour that is left unchecked likewise properties can lead to a breakdown of community control. This is because bad manners causes fear which leads to avoidance and some residence moving away, this promotes informal social control that paves the way for more extreme types of violent behaviour and crime. To stop the breakdown of community control, Wilson and Kelling proposed that any unfavourable act should be tackled immediate. If not, this leads the way for individuals to push the boundary and attempt more serious crimes. They believed that through policing of incivilities this was possible. (Maguire, Morgan and Reiner, 2012)
This theory however as some have argued has emerged from social disorganisation theory, which sees the causes of crime as a matter of macro level disadvantage. Macro level disadvantage are the following: low socioeconomic status, ethnic or racial heterogeneity, these things they believe are the reasons for crime due to the knock on effect these factors have on the community network and schools. Consequently, if th...

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...feel safer while out and about. Finally, the fact that the British Prime Minster announced a zero tolerance approach on crime which is drawn from that of broken window theory,in regards to the 2011 riots means that this approach is someone effective.

Maguire, M., Morgan, R., and Reiner, R. (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. 5th ed. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Muncie, J., and Mclaughin, E. (1996) The Problem of Crime. 2nd ed. London: Sage Publication Ltd.
Wilson, Q., and Kelling, L. 1982. The police and neighbourhood safety: Broken window.
Hennessy, Patrick. (2011) David Cameron: It’s time for a zero tolerance approach to street crime. The Telegraph [online] 13 August. Available from:// zero-tolerance-approach -to-street-crime.html